YouTube is allowing everyday people to build an empire with millions of subscribers and live the life of the rich and famous from the comfort of their own home.
Since YouTube was created in 2005 it has been used as a platform for sharing videos between users and a way to advertise for free.
The content of the biggest YouTube channels vary from ‘vlogging’ (video blogging) to tutorials, opinions and reviews.
But now YouTube is being used in conjunction with other social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to produce ‘homemade fame’.
The top earning online stars are making more money than most Hollywood television actors.
The YouTube channel PewDiePie tops the charts and is making $8.47 million annually with the total amount of views on his channel totalling over 11.5 billion.
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg- the Swedish comedian and producer behind PewDiePie – started his channel in 2010 posting mainly ‘Let’s Play’ commentaries and vlogs and now has over 43 million subscribers.
In six years Felix has become the biggest name on the internet sharing his content with millions of people daily.
His earnings like all big YouTubers is mainly achieved from advertisements and endorsement deals.
Even huge names in the music industry like Justin Bieber began his rise to fame by sharing his amateur videos on YouTube and was picked up by a record company.
Online fame from YouTube and Instagram are becoming more and more common as the audience of these platforms grows daily.
It is estimated that there are one billion users of YouTube, one in three people on the internet.
So why doesn’t everyone jump online and start making millions of dollars? Well for a YouTube account to be eligible to become ‘monetized’ YouTube has put in place certain restrictions (for example you have to have a certain number of subscribers and views on each video).
The easiest way to make money on your videos is by choosing to ‘monetize with ads’, meaning YouTube will put adds in front of your videos, however advertisers only pay you when the complete add is viewed, not partially.
Advertising and marketing companies are constantly trying to get their products mentioned on a highly subscribed YouTube channel.
PewDiePie’s wide range of coverage on games has created an Oprah effect, boosting sales for titles he plays.
The number of fans, aka subscribers of these internet stars grow rapidly due to the accessibility of the videos.
Subscribers don’t have to spend big bucks on concert or movie tickets, instead they can view their favourite celebrity anytime and anywhere on a number of devices.